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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

The Biggest Fakes and Breakthroughs of The Next Decade.

The biggest fakes.

1. Artificial Intelligence.

There is nothing really intelligent about it.
I have written numerous papers on the matter and address everyone to this page.
What “AI” represents and will be representing for a long time ahead is an advanced pattern-recognition system with limited ability to self-adjustment. Nothing more. It’s not a trivial matter, but it is not going to get close to human intelligence any soon. Of course, AI-called systems will penetrate many different practices, because they can significantly speed up any pattern-recognition process. But that’s that. Writers who write about AI do not even have a definition of intelligence (I do). They do not even know the difference between “a definition” and “a description”. The core of intelligence is not pattern recognition but imagination (google - Einstein on intelligence), because imagination is the source of creativity (e.g. Confessions of a Creative Brain). The only option for a breakthrough in the field of actual artificial intelligence is to initiate a deep and targeted research into human intelligence, its functioning, its structure. But that would mean hiring people who have a deep knowledge in the field of human intelligence; how it functions, how it is developed. But that would need people who (a) have the access to top level of decision making, and (b) already have such knowledge. It will take another decade to have that people at those levels, hence – a decade of faking is upon of us.

Naturally, media tells a very different stories. It's because people in the field use a very powerful tool reduction/reducing. They say artificial intelligence but then ignore the true meaning of intelligence (because they do not know it) and reduce intelligence to pattern recognition and then say - we can do that. They say machine leaningbut then ignore the true meaning of learning (because they do not know it) and reduce learning to animal training and then say - we can do that. They say data science but then ignore the true meaning of science (because they do not know it) and reduce science to statistical analysis of correlations and then say - we can do that. Many of the methods for correlation analysis have been around for decades and well used in many fields beyond statistics (e.g. physics). All developed sciences are based on the detailed analysis of a vast amount of data and use the same method of reasoning - a scientific method of thinking. Data science requires first and foremost an ability to apply that method for establishing a strategy for the future search of relevant/important correlations. And only then apply a specific statistical method. It's like coding - first a coder needs to establish a set of actions (in a from of commands), and then to choose a programming language and apply it (of course, an experienced coder does it almost at the same time). But media do not tell public about all this. Media just fakes the level of achievements in all those fields.

2. Educational Technologies.

Computers, tablets, smart-phones, the Internet, MOOCs, online home-work systems, online lab systems, etc. – you name it. They all have failed to make any visible difference in education (except making tons of money for some players), and will be failing again and again. Granted, above the K12 level some technologies brought some convenience to some students. But that's that. Technologies have failed for K12 schools. Imagine bringing in a kindergarten the most advanced computers and just giving them to kids saying - learn! If you expect the kids would really benefit from that – you have no idea what learning is, and how it happens. But in this example, computers represent all technologies that are being pushed on to teachers, and kids represent teachers. Not all of them but the vast majority. In order to be able to use any technology effectively, a teacher has to be good at teaching in the first place. Otherwise no technology will make any difference. Of course, if we had robots as smart as good teachers, that would allow to replace bad teachers with machines. But this is not going to happen any soon (see the first fake). Hence, the only way technologies will make any difference if – first and foremost – schools will be getting lots and lots of good teachers.

Some additional publications on the matter:


3. Education Reform.

Reforming education has come to it’s failing end. EdReform is dead! Hail to EdReform! Naturally, politicians, the government, the NSF will revile very soon a new approach to reforming education. And that will be a fake. America simply does not have yet enough people who understand what education is and how should it function, hence have a sense of the change required by the new paradigm. The Department of Education is not responsible for reforming schools, it is responsible for establishing stable functioning. Reformation is the duty of the NSF. As I pointed out in How much of the NSF funded fundamental scientific educational research is really fundamental? and Publicity v. The Mission; a tough decision For The NSF., the NSF does not have people who are capable to envision bold approaches and approve ideas that do not fall into work of already existing groups. For decades every single “innovator” was advocating for an “evidence-based approach” to reforming education. What they all really meant, though, “our evidence-based”. Since the end of the WWII America was draining the brains from all over the world in science and technology, but not in education. Even after JFK's talks about education, CIA would steal secrets of the latest Russian missile, but no one wanted and still wants to “steal” the latest math and physics textbooks (and here is the result). 

Take physics, for example. If an experiment is done in one country, physicists in other countries do not reject it because of the territorial difference. In education there is plenty of evidence coming from Russia, China, Finland and many other countries for what works in education. But American “scientists” (in the field of education) simply ignore all that data. Despite the fact that all human are equally human independently of the place of living. And will keep ignoring, because that is the only way for them to defend their own turf, and to keep all those grant money (millions of dollars) they use to do the “research”, that is absolutely trivial (as described in this paper), and does not make any impact. American “scientists” (in the field of education) do not even know what “science” is. If they did, they would follow the scientific method of reasoning, including “deriving from the first principles”. Take physics, again. No one needs to perform more experiments with weights and springs to prove the second Newton’s law – that law now is the first principle, and is used to arrive at other conclusions about mechanical systems. Humans (in all countries) function according to the same physiological and psychological laws. Imagine an experiment with two groups of people who have similar physical abilities. For a month, one group will exercise both arms, and another just a left one. If in a month we measure the strength of the people’s arms – what do you expect to observe? The answer is trivial. And does NOT require conducting of an actual experiment, because it is based on a simple fundamental principle – when a muscle is being exercised, it gets stronger, otherwise it is not (or even gets atrophic). The same principle (that I've been successfully using in my classes for more than twenty years) describes a brain development. In education, it leads to a simple rule – when a learner is immersed in a learning process learning happens; the absence of learning is an indicator of the absence of a learning process. Period. There are many similar rules that do not require exhausting specific experimentation – they require mass implementation (using a specific strategy, called Professional Designing for Teachers). The knowledge and the use of those fundamental principles makes the vast amount of the NSF “research” in education useless. But no one will ever confirm this as a fact. For at least two decades the “reform” was based on the

“idea” that schools are factories with assembly lines, and teachers are workers who have to be punished for every mistake and paid extra for something that reformers did not even know how to assess. But when Henry Ford developed his assembly line, he did not just open doors to workers and told - go, figure out how it works. No, he trained them. American teachers are badly trained, en masse. There is virtually no system of teacher professional development. It could exists, but no one wants it. Because if smart, educated, and powerful people would wanted it, it would exist already (another example of reasoning from the first principle). There is a specific governmental unit that is responsible for technological breakthroughs to keep America ahead of the world – DARPA. I have been advocating for such an “agency” in the field of education – since 2004 (Perimeter Institute for Learning and Teaching (PILT): the future of the future of education reform.). In fact, since 2004 (when my English became OK) I have been reaching out to politicians, officials, educators, philanthropists, venture capitalists, the NSF, altogether hundreds of people, not once I was able to elicit any response. From about 40,000 American visitors (from total of more than 87,000) of my blog no one found anything interesting to write a logical response to any conclusion, project, proposal. Despite the fact that the vast majority of my publications offer more than just a critical analysis of the issues, but also specific steps to resolve them. No one reflects on the logic of the publication; everyone dismisses it based on a simple fact – the author has no name. With this level of anti-curiosity and self-absorbedness the next stage of “reforming” will be just a next stage of fighting for the slice of the money-pie. And there will be no help from philanthropy. As I described in  Seven Reasons Why Rich Philanthropists Fail at Making Systemic Changes in Education, philanthropists like surrounding themselves with the people who like them. So, no room for “the team of rivals”, no competition of ideas. Till these days, philanthropy has never spurred any innovation. The best it can do is to preserve the status quo. Hence – stagnation. And the last possible force, venture capital, will not be able to make the turn in EdReform. As I described (in part) in “Will Artificial Intelligence Save, Replace or even Affect Education Practices? (a venture capitalist’s view)”, those people so strongly believe in their own powers, so they are absolutely convinced that their primitive view on education is the only way to approach education. My long-term experiment demonstrates that, although America has individuals who truly want improve mass education, she does not have people who want to do that. People (who belong to different social circles) want participate in continuous endless improvement of education. The end game does not interest anyone.

Maslow pyramid is a good working model that explains a lot. Nowadays working in STEM may become very profitable for people who know the right people and say the right words. Doing the right things is not required. Money goes not to one who makes STEM better, but to one who promises(!) to make STEM better in the future. Without real measurability accountability is a fiction. So, the main criterion for support is the name, the list of citations, and a new intriguing term (forget STEM, let’s erase any differences and do STEAM!). 

In reality, these days, we do not need new ideas on how to teach - we need to ensure broad and effective implementation of ideas that have been known for decades. But things will not change any soon, because the NSF likes the things the way they are. 

“I am very good at teaching, I can teach more students”. “Thanks, but, no, thanks.”I have a unique experience that I can offer to help instructors and teachers teach better”. “Thanks, but, no, thanks.” This way of management is everywhere in educationall areas, all levels. For the next decade.


4. American Democracy.

Vast majority of Americans believe that “voting” is an equivalent of “democracy”. Of course, educated Americans know the difference, but the number of those people have been gradually decreasing for the last 30 years. The result is that three pillars of democracy – separation of powers (a.k.a. check and balances), free speech, and the rule of law – have been significantly corrupted. This corruption demonstrates the fact that American is in the stage of the elite change: the old elites have degraded and have become out of touch with the reality, the new elite does not yet exist, it is just in the process of being created. America is entering the period of ethnic battles; people on the conservative side have been preparing this for a long time, and now use all options to install their supporters to as many official places as possible (e.g. the judges who will not use their power to uphold the law, but will use the law to increase the power of the social group they belong to). America has now its own “state media” (e.g. FOX), and social media only strengthen that type of influence leading to further clusterization of American society. That will lead to even stronger polarization. The period of political and social chaos (plus the market crash in 2021/22) inevitably leads to the further weakening of democratic institutions and strengthening authoritarian tendencies.


The biggest breakthroughs.

1. Ability to grow and regenerate biological tissues and organs.

2. Ability to interpret electric impulses of a mind (“mind reading”).

3. Ability to use electromagnetic waves/beams to induce different states of mind. Combined with #2 it brings an ability to share states of mind directly between individuals.

4. Developing of a vast database of correlations between different teaching and learning actions and outcomes (the strategy for such approach is described here). 

5. Brain Augmenting Technologies 


Note: this post is a part of the series:

China v. The U.S.: The Battle Of Strategic Thinking




Monday, October 14, 2019

Can an electron travel through two slits at the same time?

Can an electron travel through two slits at the same time?
A shorter version of this article is also published at researchgate.net (DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.17355.34080) and academia.edu.

Let’s go straight to the source!

In his lectures Richard Feynman described a thought experiment with electrons traveling through two holes

This experiment has been realized later by different teams, e.g. “Demonstration of single-electron buildup of an interference pattern” / A. Tonomura, J. Endo, T. Matsuda, T. Kawasaki, and H. Ezawa / American Journal of Physics 57, 117 (1989); doi: 10.1119/1.16104 (view online: https://doi.org/10.1119/1.16104)

All those experiments were used to support a “classical” interpretation of its results, i.e. “a single electron can pass through both of the slits” (A. Tonomura et al., 1989).

Let us analyze what the author of the experiment thought on this matter.

Feynman stated that electrons are registered in “lumps”.

Then he stated: “Proposition A: Each electron either goes through hole 1 or it goes through hole 2.”

Then he arrived at: “For electrons: P12 ≠ P1+P2.”

And then he finishes: “… since the number that arrives at a particular point is not equal to the number that arrives through 1 plus the number that arrives through 2, as we would have concluded from Proposition A, undoubtedly we should conclude that Proposition A is false. It is not true that the electrons go either through hole 1 or hole 2.”

And yet, in the next chapter


he writes (all bold fonts are mine, not Feynman’s):

1. “when there are two ways for the particle to reach the detector, the resulting probability is not the sum of the two probabilities”

2. “When a particle can reach a given state by two possible routes, the total amplitude for the process is the sum of the amplitudes for the two routes considered separately.

3. “we are going to suppose that the holes 1 and 2 are small enough that when we say an electron goes through the hole, we don’t have to discuss which part of the hole.”

4. “the amplitude for the process in which the electron reaches the detector at x by way of hole 1

5. “the amplitude to go from s to x by way of hole 1 is equal to”

6. “The electron goes from s to 1 and then from 1 to x.”

7. “The electron can go through hole 1, then through hole a, and then to x; or it could go through hole 1, then through hole b, and then to x; and so on.”

8. “amplitude that an electron going through slit 2 will scatter a photon”

9. “the amplitude that an electron goes via slit 2 and scatters a photon”

10. “two factors: first, that the electron went through a hole, and second”

11. “when an electron passes through hole 2

12. “when the electron passes through hole 1

Theses twelve quotes (the lectures have more similar statements) clearly show that Feynman believed that an electron could travel through one hole/slit, or through another one, but he never considered an electron traveling through both holes at the same time; he never made that statement.

He wrote, for instance: “the probability of arrival through both holes”. But “arrival through” is not the same as “traveling through both at the same time”; it means rather “arrival through a screen with two holes”.

The whole idea of a path integral is based on the assumption is that an electron is always located somewhere, i.e. it is always localized, because it is always traveling through this point and then this, and then this, etc. A path does not split, there are no forks (even when a particle circles back making a loop the time keeps running ahead and on each path a particle is always located at one place at a time), hence, there are no instances when an electron is located at to places at the same time.

A path integral was a brilliant idea of a genius: just assign an amplitude to each possible path and add them up! So obvious! After you learn it. That is what many physicists feel - it's natural, and do not think about implications to the fundamentals of quantum mechanics, including the interpretation of the wave-particle duality. And the genius of Feynman was not inventing paths, but assigning an amplitude to each one.

A simple toy with small balls running down a set of pins represents a good model for paths and a path integral.
When a ball drops through a spout, its trajectory through the board is unpredictable. For each trajectory that begins at point A and ends at point B, there is a probability that a ball will travel exactly along that trajectory.

The key words is “probability”. Feynman realized that in the quantum world we can use the same picture, but instead of a probability we have to use a probability amplitude. The one who will explain – why? – deserves the Nobel Prize.

Let us return to our main topic. As we see, the idea of a path integral is based on the assumption is that an electron is always located somewhere, i.e. it is always localized, and, hence, there are no instances when an electron is located at to places at the same time.

This seems contradicts Feynman’s own conclusion about Proposition A.

He wrote: “is not true that the lumps go either through hole 1 or hole 2, because if they did, the probabilities should add”.

But later, as I proved using his own words, in his further analysis he was fine with an electron traveling through one whole or another.

So, what did he really mean?

I believe, when Feynman stated his Proposition A, he simply did not do it as accurate as he should have done.

He should have said: “Proposition A: Each electron either goes through hole 1 or it goes through hole 2 – in a classical sense”.

And this statement is false.

Based on the next chapter (experiments with light), we understand that when he said: “It is not true that the electrons go either through hole 1 or hole 2 ”, he meant “It is not true that we are always able to know if the electrons go either through hole 1 or hole 2 - unless the interference between the two paths is destroyed”.

Because later he told us that an electron does go through hole 1 or it goes through hole 2 – however, in a different, non-classical sense, with the use amplitudes instead of probabilities.

Feynman wrote a lot. For example, this is what he wrote in "QED: the strange theory of light and matter".
He states that we - everyone in physics - know that light is made of particles, and proves it. And his reasoning is identical to the one about electrons or any other quantum particle. So, there is NO question about the structure of matter - it is made of particles. And a particle can travel only through one hole at a time. And he also called "wave-particle duality" as a "state of confusion". 
An article after an article, a book after a book demonstrate that a lot of people writing about quantum mechanics still remain in that state.

If we accept that an electron can travel through a hole – through only one hole, it is not clear yet from Feynman’s discussion what is really happening in a two-hole experiment when no one is watching where exactly an electron gets through the screen?

Naturally, many other physicists jumped on this thought experiment and discussed it in great details in their books.

For example, J. D. Cresser writes (2009; http://physics.mq.edu.au/~jcresser/Phys301/Chapters/Chapter4.pdf; in the following quotes, all bold fonts are mine):
“If electrons are particles, like bullets, then it seems clear that the electrons go either through slit 1orthrough slit 2, because that is what particles would do. The behavior of the electrons going through slit 1 should then not be affected by whether slit 2 is opened or closed as those electrons would go nowhere near slit 2. In other words, we have to expect that P12(x)=P1(x)+P2(x), but this not what is observed. It appears that we must abandon the idea that the particles go through one slit or the other. But if we want to retain the mental picture of electrons as particles, we must conclude that the electrons pass through both slits in some way because it is only by ‘going through both slits’ that there is any chance of an interference pattern forming. After all, the interference term depends on d, the separation between the slits, so we must expect that the particles must ‘know’ how far apart the slits are in order for the positions that they strike the screen to depend on d, and they cannot ‘know’ this if each electron goes through only one slit. We could imagine that the electrons determine the separation between slits by supposing that they split up in some way, but then they will have to subsequently recombine before striking the screen since all that is observed is single flashes of light. So, what comes to mind is the idea of the electrons executing complicated paths that, perhaps, involve them looping back through each slit, which is scarcely believable. The question would have to be asked as to why the electrons execute such strange behavior when there are a pair of slits present, but do not seem to when they are moving in free space. There is no way of understanding the double slit behavior in terms of a particle picture only.”

In the excerpt, the author repeats arguments as old as fifty or even sixty years old – “no way to understand quantum mechanics if particles are only particles”.

And then the author goes on to building an elaborated picture of a wave packet that is a particle and a wave at the same time, etc., etc..

And then, following Feynman, he discusses another mystery, that is - when we know through each hole an electron traveled (e.g. using flashes of light) we destroy the interference. Only when we do not know how exactly electrons travel through the holes, interference exist. Why? No one knows.

The answer, however, lies in the very statement used to prove that electrons cannot travel through one hole or another one.
Let’s read it one more time.

“If electrons are particles, like bullets, then it seems clear that the electrons go either through slit 1orthrough slit 2, because that is what particles would do. The behavior of the electrons going through slit 1 should then not be affected by whether slit 2 is opened or closed as those electrons would go nowhere near slit 2. In other words, we have to expect that P12(x)=P1(x)+P2(x), but this not what is observed. It appears that we must abandon the idea that the particles go through one slit or the other.”

But abandoning “the idea that the particles go through one slit or the other” is not only one logical solution!

Another one is to abandon a previous statement, that said: “The behavior of the electrons going through slit 1 should then not be affected by whether slit 2 is opened or closed as those electrons would go nowhere near slit 2.”

Why should that behavior be not affected? Because this is what we would expect in the classical mechanics from classical particles! But our experiment involves quantum particles! So, why should we impose on them our classical expectations? There is simply no logical reason to do that. So, let’s not do that and see where it will lead us.

If (a) particles do travel through one hole or another (only one hole at a time), and if (b) the interference pattern exists, it means that the statement is wrong.

The statement: “The behavior of the electrons going through slit 1 should then not be affected by whether slit 2 is opened or closed as those electrons would go nowhere near slit 2.” Is wrong.

And that means that the behavior of the electrons going through slit 1 is affected by whether slit 2 is opened or closed even though those electrons would go nowhere near slit 2.

We can make even a more general statement:

Proposition V: when two slits are open, an electron (and a photon, and any quantum particle!) behaves differently than it does when one slit is open.

Proposition V means that when a quantum particle travels to the screen with holes/slits, it already "knows" how many holes are opened there. And under certain circumstances, some aspects of the behavior of those particles exhibit features similar to features of classical waves.

Particles are not waves. But their behavior may be wave-like.

Let us step for a moment away from the main matter and make this note on the nature of waves.

All classical waves are NOT specific individual physical objects. A wave is a specific form/state of a substance described by a mathematical object called “a field” (more on definitions in "On a Definition Of Science").  A field is a mathematical description of a state of a substance distributed over a large region of space. A substance has structure and composed of a vast number of small and usually identical "blocks" (atoms, molecules, balls and springs). Thinking about a classical wave as of one undivided large object is simply wrong. But even an electromagnetic field has quantum structure – photons. So, when one says this word “a wave” – what does one actually mean?

Let us assume that a wave-function is an actual physical wave. A particle is a wave-pocket traveling in space. Fine. Does it have a definitive size; a boundary between the region filled with matter and energy and the rest of the universe? If it does - so, it is just a large particle? If not, if all the mass and energy asymptotically "smeared" over the whole universe (a mathematical cut-off exists, like "effective radius", but it is mathematical - like a half-life for a radioactive element), how does all that mass and energy get smeared over the whole universe the moment a particle leaves an atom and then "collapses" back when it hits a screen? And if light is a composition of photons, and the double slit interference experiment for light should be explained in the same way it is explained for electrons - how to make a physical wave-pocket for it - it needs to travel at the speed of light in a non-relativistic theory.

These and other questions make this picture too complicated - it does not worth to be fought for. 

But in that case one needs a different, simpler model. And that model exists - a particle is always a particle, it just is not classical, hence behaves in a non-classical way described by Schrödinger's equation. And that behavior - statistically - resembles some elements of the behavior of classical waves. 

But quantum particles are NOT waves.

And the two-slit experiment does not give us any proof to the statement that particles are also waves. The wave-particle duality is NOT about this.

What the two-slit experiment shows us is that the configuration of the screen (one hole, two holes, three holes, etc.) affects the motion of the electrons, photons, all particles traveling toward that screen.

In the classical world, a particle does not know anything about the screen it travels to until it hits it.

But an electron “knows”/“feels” if the hole 2 is open or closed. If we shine a light on an electron, it actually “forgets” about the existence of another hole and travels like the only one hole exists – hence, the destruction of interference.

The real question now is: how do quantum particles “know” how a screen is built and react to its structure?

That is the true mystery of quantum mechanics.

This question requires a new discussion.

In general, the answer is – quantum particles “know” about the features of a screen in the same way they “know” about states of each other when they have been prepared in an entangled way.

The double-slit experiment and quantum entanglement are two very close phenomena.

Let’s go straight to the source – the famous EPR paper.
It has many layers, more than just the thought experiment they use to claim that quantum mechanics is not a complete theory (e.g. click on this link and scroll down to Appendix III). If someone talks to you about entanglement, ask if he/she rad this paper. If not - does not worth your time (more an entanglement in "On the Entanglement Between SuprFluidity, SuperConductivity and Entanglement").

The fact of the matter is that this experiment does show that quantum mechanics is different from classical mechanics (as EPR put it – “incomplete”).

When this matter is accepted, one has a choice: (a) follow the strategy "shut up and calculate" and do not spend any time on trying to make the theory "complete", or (b) spend some time on trying to make the theory "complete".
In the latter case, one can be inventing different approaches - some are mentioned in the four pieces about a cat:

But the simplest (thank you - Occame!) way to resolve all the mysteries of quantum mechanics would be to assume that - yes, "spooky action at a distance" exists, and it exists due to facter than light interactions!

Naturally, Einstein would never accepted this solution, but no one is infallible.

Particles that travel faster than light have been proposed, and named tachyons.

Tachyons are responsible for that "spooky action at distance".

There is a whole world of particles that cannot travel slower than the speed of light! And that world interacts with our world, where particles cannot travel faster than the speed of light.

Simple! 

Imagine a sea of tachyons. Every known particle can have its counterpart in that sea: tachyo-electron, tachyo-proton, etc. Due to fluctuations, for a teeny-tiny instant of time, those tachyons may enter our world, become a so-called virtual particle, and interact with our-world particles. But even more interesting process happens when our-world particles can disappear from our world and enter the world of tachyons, spend there a teeny-tiny instant of time and come back again - but at a different location, or with a different speed, or both, or in general in a different state.

When two particles are entangled, they keep interacting via tachyons. And that is why making one particle to accept a certain state (e.g. by imposing a magnetic field) it makes another particle – that one that was entangle with the first one – to immediate accept a corresponding state

Some of the entanglement experiments (thought or real) could have been explained even without the use of tachyons. The distances between the particles would allow photons to make the particles “feel” each other. But tachyons are just so much cooler!

Of course, until tachyons are found, they are just a theory, a mathematical abstract. But so was the Higgs boson.

By employing tachyons, we replace several difficult problems with one difficult problem – finding tachyons.

Tachyons, or in general the world of faster than light particles, can also explain such intriguing quantum phenomenon as tunneling.

A classical particle cannot escape a potential well - when it has not enough energy. But a quantum particle can "tunnel" through. Why? Because due to interactions with tachyons it may "accidentally" (a scientific name – via fluctuations) gain energy enough to get "over the well".
And, finally, back to the double-slit electron diffraction experiment.

A screen is also made of particles. A sea of tachyons between a flying electron and a screen makes those two objects interact and their evolution correlate. Of course, the evolution of a screen is simple – being there. But the evolution of a traveling electron is affected by the structure of the screen. In a way, this picture is similar to the “pilot-wave”theory.

There is a mechanical model that may help to visualize the phenomenon.

Imagine a small ball floating in water. It has a little motor that spins a fan and makes it move. But it also has inside a small of-center spinner, that makes the ball vertically oscillate in water. Those oscillations travel away and when they reach an obstacle, for example a screen, they get reflected and act back on the ball. Of course, the reflected waves will depend on the structure of a screen (one hole or two). And that may affect the motion of the ball.

The sea of tachyons should bring back some version of a “hidden-variables” theory, because the particle-tachyon interaction does not obey the limits imposed by the Von Neumann’s theorem (although, some physicists claim that the theorem has flaws anyway).

The next step is the development of an appropriate mathematical model – and the Nobel!

You’re welcome!

Naturally, I am not the first one who talks about superlight particles. But those particles have been originally treated as a "bad thing" (a sign that quantum mechanics is incomplete), and later as a technical element - one of the options for existing particles. I believe those particles should be considered as the means for explaining the fundamental properties of quantum mechanics. The easiest of the possible means.

And finally, the answer to the question in the title - no, an electron cannot travel through two slits at the same time.

But it does NOT have to!


Disclaimer: the bulk of this post originally were published as appendixes to other posts on this page: Fundamentals of Quantum Physics 


Appendix I

All existing analyses of the double-slit electron experiment are based on two statements:
1. When only one slit (hole) is open electrons reach the screen  and form a Bell-shaped pattern. 
2. When two slits are open, electrons form an interference pattern that does not represent a simple composition of two Bell-shaped patterns.
But all those existing analyses make the same logical mistake. 
The assume that when electrons travel through a single slit, they behave like classical particles.
However, there is absolutely no reason for that assumption.
An analogy with the light traveling through one or two slits (holes) shows that the pattern formed by electrons depends on the size of the opening. 
When there is only one opening, but it is large (large enough, in a certain sense), then electrons will be forming a classical-like Bell-shaped pattern. But in this case, even with two openings, we should expect a classical-like pattern, and no interference.
But when the opening is small, electrons should form a single-slit interference pattern. When another opening becomes available, electrons form an interference pattern as well, but this should not be a surprise anymore, because electrons have already formed an interference pattern with only one opening.
And in that case the real question is why do electrons form an interference pattern when they travel through a single small opening?
All existing analyses of the double-slit electron experiments simply combine two incompatible pictures, the classical picture of particles traveling through one hole, and a quantum picture of particles traveling through two holes.
Of course, when you use inconsistent logic, you get confusing results.

Appendix II

When I sent a copy of this article to arXiv, I knew it would be rejected.

My blog, as it’s said in a title, is an experiment. This time I was wishing for reasons my article would be rejected.

I expected to see something like “wrong format”, “loose language”, “absence of citations/references”, “a wrong arXiv section”.

But the result of my fishing exceeded my expectations.

I was told, quote: “article does not contain sufficient original or substantive scholarly research” (the full letter is at the end of this appendix)

It makes one put things in perspective.

When authors write an article where they apply a theory beyond the area of its applicability, trying to use a standard quantum mechanical formalism to a classical system, which is like applying Newton's 2nd law to relativistic particles, but including references, scientifically sound terminology, and cool mathematical symbols - it is considered a research worth to be published (“Quantum theory cannot consistently describe the use of itself”; Appendix II of this piece provides deeper analysis).

When an author offers a critical analysis of a logical structure of statements made about fundamental quantum mechanical phenomenon offering an alternative interpretation – that’s not a “substantive scholarly research”.

This is a typical example of a narrow-minded formatted thinking in science.

Originally, a scientific magazine was an instrument for (1) exchange of scientific ideas, and (2) reporting the results of a scientific research.

Of course, the format matters! But that's what editors are for, or moderators.

I'm not sure how many people on average read every arXiv paper, but in four days since its publication, my article was read by more than 30 people (that doesn't count reads on Academia and Researchgate).
************************************ 
A full letter from arXiv.

Dear arXiv user,

Our moderators have determined that your submission is not of sufficient interest for inclusion within arXiv. This decision was reached after examining your submission. The moderators have rejected your submission as "unrefereeable": your article does not contain sufficient original or substantive scholarly research.

As a result, we have removed your submission.

Please note that our moderators are not referees and provide no reviews with such decisions. For in-depth reviews of your work, please seek feedback from another forum.

Please do not resubmit this paper without contacting arXiv moderation and obtaining a positive response. Resubmission of removed papers may result in the loss of your submission privileges.

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Regards,
arXiv moderation